Sunday, February 28, 2010

California Set To Raise Solar Net Metering Cap

At the end of last week, the California State Assembly passed AB 510, a bill to raise the cap on net metering for solar photovoltaic systems. Having passed the Senate last week, the bill now only needs the Governor's signature to become law.

Existing law requires California’s major electric utilities to make net metering available to customers on a first-come-first-served basis until the total program capacity exceeds 2.5 percent of the utility’s peak demand. AB 510 doubles the net metering program capacity to 5 percent, ensuring that Californians continue to have fair access to this critical solar program for the near term.

“California leads the nation in solar energy, accounting for more than 65 percent of the all the solar installed in the U.S. Net metering has been absolutely fundamental to that success. The passage of this bill means continued green job growth, further energy bill savings, progress in the fight against climate change, and a brighter future for California," said Assemblymember Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) who authored the bill.

Through net metering, solar customers’ electricity meters to spin forward when they are using power from the utility grid, and reverse, spinning backward when customers are producing more energy than they are using. The customer is billed only for the net energy used. Today more than 50,000 California homes, schools and businesses take advantage of the state’s net metering program to lower their utility bills.

"Net metering makes solar more affordable for those who want to make the investment in clean energy. And because solar produces reliable power during peak hours when we all need it most, that same investment in solar helps lower costs for all ratepayers. Today, Assemblymember Skinner and the legislature took a bold step to make solar a significant part of our energy future," said Adam Browning, executive director of the Vote Solar Initiative.

Net metering has no direct impact on the state’s general fund and allows government agencies and schools to have an incentive to install solar. California public agencies have already installed at least 51 megawatts (MW) of solar, saving taxpayers more than US $270 million in avoided utility payments.

See the original article here

Friday, February 26, 2010

LDK Solar Acquires Best Solar's Crystalline Module Manufacturing Plant

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LDK Solar Co., Ltd. (NYSE: LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the crystalline module manufacturing plant of Best Solar Co., Ltd. ("Best Solar"). Under the terms of the transaction LDK Solar will acquire Best Solar's crystalline module manufacturing plant at cash consideration of $21.5 million, representing the fair value of the assets acquired determined on an arms-length basis.

"This acquisition will significantly enhance LDK Solar's position in the downstream PV market," stated Jack Lai, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Secretary of LDK Solar. "LDK Solar has been fulfilling the majority of its solar module needs through purchases from Best Solar over the past three quarters. We look forward to realizing cost efficiencies by bringing crystalline module manufacturing in-house. This acquisition represents an important step as we continue to expand the scope of our vertical integration and strengthens our competitive advantage within the sector."

Best Solar is wholly owned by LDK New Energy Holding Limited, which is LDK Solar's controlling shareholder, and wholly owned by Mr. Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. The terms of the agreement have been reviewed and approved by LDK Solar and Best Solar on an arms-length basis using the fair market value of the acquired assets. The fair market value was determined by a valuation analysis performed by a third party independent valuer and approved by LDK Solar's management team and Audit Committee. Best Solar has undertaken not to engage, and therefore compete with LDK Solar, in the module business after this transaction is completed.

See the original article here

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Con Edison Calls for More Solar Energy Projects

NEW YORK — Con Edison, a unit of Consolidated Edison Inc., on Tuesday filed a proposal with the state of New York calling for more funds for solar energy projects in New York City.

In Con Edison's filing with the New York State Public Service Commission, it called for the development of 25 megawatts of solar energy resources in New York City by 2015. The company said this will offset about 16,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 2,400 passenger vehicles off the road.

Con Edison suggested the state set aside $24.8 million of its renewable energy funds for smaller solar projects for residential and commercial customers in New York City.

The company is also proposing that the state set aside $4 million for a residential program for New York City and Westchester County customers to use solar energy for hot water.

"We believe that New York City, with its urban roofscape, has great potential as a center for solar power and we are confident that we can use our unique knowledge of our customers to make that a reality," said John Mucci, vice president of Engineering and Planning.

These programs would be in addition to an earlier proposal to spend $125 million over five years throughout the Con Edison service area for larger installations.

Shares of Consolidated Edison rose 63 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $43.44.

See the original article here

LDK Solar Becomes Member of PV CYCLE

XINYU CITY, China and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- LDK Solar Co., Ltd. ("LDK Solar") (NYSE: LDK), a leading manufacturer of multicrystalline solar wafers, announced today that it has become a member of PV CYCLE, an organization based in Brussels, Belgium that promotes the take-back and recycling of end-of-life PV modules.

"LDK Solar is dedicated to sustainable practices that take into consideration the environmental impact of all stages of product life cycle, including end-of-life collection and recycling," stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. "We look forward to contributing to the development of new standards of sustainability with fellow members of PV CYCLE."

See the original article here